Books by Dean Robinson

Released: Nov. 1, 2009

This shoddy animal fantasy fails on all levels. Main mouse Crycket and cousin Sylan are 12 years old—just one of many mathematical and cultural details that anthropomorphize them beyond any sense of rodentness. Crycket and Sylan fulfill the classic fantasy trope of unknown parentage and secret royal lineage. Broken truces and betrayals between individuals and warring factions (mice, rats, frogs) set the boys on a path of travel-fight-travel-fight. The violence—multiple battle deaths; branding; a grandparent impaled, another burned alive—feels meaningless and distant because every prose element is substandard. Modifiers overflow, most nouns sporting at least one adjective, sometimes two or three. Frequent use of "quickly," "suddenly" and "instantly" fail to spur the pace. Narration explains points twice in a row. Back story information is dry, ostensibly gnomic headings trite and useless ("A warrior who knows how to fight will choose wisely"). Grammar mistakes and word misuse abound. Editing and copyediting seem absent but wouldn't have saved this marketing tie-in for two already-existing collectible figurines ($39.99 each). (Fantasy. 9-11)Read full book review >